Book Giveaway & Author Interview: An ABC Escapade Through Egypt by Bernadette Simpson

Welcome to Author Bernadette Simpson


curious, quiet, creative, and considerate
wife of Nadim
lover of wacky words, cuddly cats, and flavorful food
who feels excited when she travels, playful when swimming in the sea, and annoyed when people litter
who needs access to a library, a solar-energized house, and more practice speaking Arabic
who fears twisting her ankle while hiking, losing her Internet access, and strong currents when snorkeling
who gives confidence to students, cookies and cakes to friends, and water to her desert garden
who would like to see her family, more books about modern Egypt, and southern India
resident of Dahab, South Sinai


If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Well, I don’t know if this is usually considered a “superpower”, but I would choose to be able to understand and speak all of the world’s languages! I would love to be able to communicate with the people I meet as I travel.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Baskin-Robbins’ Pralines n’ cream

Night owl, or early bird?
Early bird…I’m up with the sun!

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Currently, I’m working on An ABC Safari through Sinai. The book follows the same alliterative alphabetical format as the first, but is focused on the nature, geography, and Bedouin culture of the Sinai peninsula, which even though it is part of Egypt, is quite unique!

I’m also writing and illustrating little story books in both English and Egyptian Arabic, under my local name – Habiba. I’ve completed two so far (Habiba Draws Dahab and Yum, Yum!) and hope to add more to the collection. I released these books (eBooks and printable versions) under a Creative Commons license which makes them free for everyone to download, print, and read!

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
My students. And the lack of literature about modern Egypt. I wanted to be able to teach reading to my Egyptian students using books that had familiar content. I tried my hand at writing fiction initially, but discovered my true passion was nonfiction! I love learning about other countries and cultures…and I so I hope that my book helps students around the world discover the Egypt of today.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
For awhile I wanted to be a lawyer, but I’m not sure why. I’d be a horrible lawyer! But what I later dreamed of being was a photographer for National Geographic. And while I’ll never work for NatGeo, photography is one of my favorite hobbies and I’m continually trying to improve my skills. I took many of the photographs used in An ABC Escapade through Egypt and hope to take more for the second.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
My favorite author of all time is Kurt Vonnegut. I was introduced to him through his book Cat’s Cradle during my sophomore year of high school. I still have that first copy of the book and I’ve read it over 30 times! Some of my other favorite authors are Amitav Ghosh, Naomi Shihab Nye, Benjamin Zephaniah, and Shel Silverstein.

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Follow your dreams.

What was your favorite children’s book?
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig and The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey

If you were a bird, which one would you be?
A question that, as a bird-lover, I’ve thought about often! I’d be a seagull because they enjoy both floating lazily on the water and flying and diving from above! They are also very intelligent and curious birds.

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?
A large plot of land on which I could grow my own veggie garden and raise my own goats and chickens! And solar panels. Lots of solar panels.

What do you do in your free time?
I love to read, to work in my garden, to snorkel and swim, to hike around the mountains and wadis, to photograph, to write, to blog, and to spend time playing, drawing, and learning with my young Bedouin neighbors.

How would you describe the target audience for your book? Readers, ages 8 – 12, curious about the world around them, particularly other countries – culture, traditions, sports, food, nature, etc. AND elementary and middle school teachers looking for supplemental material when teaching about world cultures or ancient Egypt.

“Discover some of the many wonders of Egypt on this alphabetical escapade – foods like mangoes and konafa, animals such as foxes and jerboas, and places like the Red Sea and Zamalek. At each letter of the alphabet, stop to explore fun alliterative phrases, colorful photographs, and interesting facts. Read through the letters in order, or flip through the pages until one catches your eye. You may choose to read only the phrases at the top of each page or find out more by reading the detailed paragraphs. You are the captain of this journey so how you travel is up to you!”

Book Giveaway
1 paperback copy & 3 ebooks.
Paperback copy open to US & Canada only
Ebooks open Internationally
Ends 3/23

Optional Extra Entry
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